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Tag Archives: Egypt

A tragic sexual assault becomes pretext to insult both women and Muslims

Update Sunday 2/20/2010: good stories in NYT today: Reporting While Female and Why We Need Women in War Zones

One of my favorite blogs, the awesome Wronging Rights, does the definitive take on the Lara Logan story, a CBS reporter who was sexually assaulted on one of the violent days during the Egypt uprising:

The internet, it appeared, was largely in agreement: what happened to Logan was terrible, but hardly surprising

Posted in Human rights, In the news, Women and gender | Also tagged , , , , 11 Comments

Abraham Lincoln in Egypt

Today the doubts begin on whether there will be a happy democratic outcome in Egypt. There are no guarantees.

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. His most famous words also addressed doubts about democracy. Could American democracy survive a civil war? Could it make a transition from half slave and half free to emancipation?

our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are

Posted in Democracy and freedom, History, Human rights, In the news | Also tagged 4 Comments

Liberated Egyptians: you’re welcome!

Clive Crook’s blog notes the following story from Politico:

the Obama administration finally notched a foreign policy victory with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s decision to resign and turn over power to top military officials…

“Great news for the administration/president,” said one senior Democratic official who asked not to be named. “People will remember, despite some fumbles yesterday, that the President played an excellent hand, walked the right line and that his statement last night

Posted in Democracy and freedom, Human rights, In the news | Also tagged 10 Comments

Egypt is Free!

That is what the people in the streets are chanting as the seismic news of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation spreads.

I have goosebumps. Regardless of what the future holds, this is a historic moment. This is a moment to celebrate the remarkable achievement of ordinary multitudes of Egyptians who wanted their inalienable rights, that all individuals are born free and equal.

To close with the words of the Arab poet Abul-Qasim al-Shabi (1909-1934) (previously quoted…

Posted in Democracy and freedom, Human rights, In the news | 30 Comments

The art of saying nothing: Mubarak speech mashup

UPDATE 12 noon, February 11: so wordy emptiness wasn’t such a good move. Now if we could just overthrow the aid bureaucrats who produce documents as bad as the Mubarak speech.

In the Isaac Asimov sci-fi classic Foundation, an envoy from the Empire arrives for 5 days of talks to promise a small planet Imperial protection against attack. Scientists at the Foundation then use symbolic logic to analyze the Imperial envoy’s transcript, and reach this conclusion —…

Posted in Democracy and freedom, Human rights, In the news | Also tagged 8 Comments

Mubarak attempts to placate Democratic Revolution with a Committee

What a heartbreaking disappointment with the Mubarak speech…

The language is remarkably paternalistic. And he repeatedly uses jargon like “framework” and “transition”. He promised to implement some recommendations of some Committee.

This guy has obviously spent way too much time in Aid Donor Consultative Group Meetings. This speech disqualifies him as someone able to lead Egypt, but he would be a perfect fit for UN Undersecretary for Sustainable Social Empowerment Agenda Mainstreaming Transition Framework.

The jokes are out…

Posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news | 5 Comments

Breaking news: US government to replace head of Egypt Province?

Many news outlets reporting that Mubarak is about to resign. Too soon to tell whether this is definite, who the replacement will be, and what it means for the pro-democracy movement in Egypt.

I do know already I would have wished that the news was not broken to the world by the director of the CIA:

C.I.A. Director Leon E. Panetta said that there was a “strong likelihood” that Mr. Mubarak would step down

Posted in In the news | 10 Comments

How Ignorance dooms Autocracy

TierType of knowledgeRecommended actionsSystemCompatible with autocracy?
(1)Certainty (known knowns)Just do itAdministrationYes
(2)Probability (known unknowns)Hypothesis testingAcademic freedomTemporarily Yes, eventually No
(3)Ignorance (unknown unknowns)Decentralized feedback and accountabilityIndividual libertyNo
Posted in Democracy and freedom, Technology | Also tagged 15 Comments

Can US politicians please shut up and do nothing on Egypt?

Clive Crook in the Financial Times on Monday:

The US need to come to terms with its impotence at times such as this, and so does everybody else….

In Egypt and throughout the Middle East, the west is seen (not without reason) as a cultural and political oppressor….The US would most likely discredit whatever pro-democracy factions it moved to support. Again, give timidity its due.

The Obama administration {wants} to steer Egypt to stability, prosperity,

Posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news | 13 Comments

The US has put its boot on the scale

by Natasha Iskander, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, NYU. 10:42 pm Saturday February 5. Professor Iskander is Egyptian-American and works on development in the Middle East and North Africa.

The millions of protestors have been clear: “The people want the fall of the regime! Mubarak leave!”  The responses of the US to unambiguous calls from the Egyptian people for the right to determine their own future have not only been deeply condescending, but also represent a…

Posted in Democracy and freedom, Organizational behavior | Also tagged 11 Comments